quarta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2011

Save Xingu in Amazon: gather forces against Belo Monte!

The brazilian government wants to approve the construction of a barrage deep inside the Amazon forest in the Xingu River if it would be constructed it would be the biggest Channel of Panamá, flooding 400 000 hectares of forest and will cast out about 400 000 indians and the local population destroying the precious habitat for numerous species. The IBAMA president (brazilian institute for environment and nature) resigned the post because he refused toissue the environmental license to the construction of the barrage of the Belo Monte.
Specialists, indians, engennerings, ambientalists and the brazilian civilians agree that the Belo Monte project is an environmental disaster deep inside the heart of the Amazon forest.
Sign the petition here: http://www.avaaz.org/po/pare_belo_monte/
Let me tell you everything about why this mega power plant cannot be constructed in River Xingu in the Amazon:

The Amazon basin shelters about the 60% of the remaining rain forests covering an area almost of the size of the United States of America, 1/5 of all the fresh water flows through the immense tangle of the Amazon rivers. The river Xingu is one of the most magicals and interesting rivers of this big net: it ensures the subsistence of more than 25 000 indians of 24 different ethnicities, thousands of riparians, extractive populations, family farmers and innumerable species of plants and animals.
The basin of the river Xingu shelters the biggest area of protected areas in Brazil combining indian areas and conservation areas like national natural parks and extractive reserves.
However, it's here, deep in the heart of the Amazon forest, that the brazilian government wants to construct what would be the 3rd biggest hydroelectric of the world: Belo Monte.
The construction of the power plant of Belo monte would cust about 30 bilians of relas (brazilian coin) and it would strike a curve in the river, called: "volta grande", well known for its rich biodiversity, deflecting almost all of the Xingu river flow in the order to generate electricity that would serve the electro-intensive industry that consumes a lot but employes little.
In order to deflect the flow of such an immense river, 2 artificial channels whose excavations would be bigger than the panama channel would be done in the middle of the forest. Once the channels get full they would flood an area corresponding of almost half of the area of the city of Rio de Janeiro, but the impacts would be felt in a much larger area up river.
If Belo monte would be constructed 100km of the Xingu river will almost dry leaving the inhabitants along the river without access to the water, fish or transportation facilities.
Two communities of indians: Junini and Arara have maid the "volta grande" place their home for generations: the dry of the river would cause big impacts on their way of traditional living based in fisheries, farming and hunting.
Hundreds of riverside families fish and farm in the borders ans islands of Xingu, the barrage of Belo Monte would force entire families to leave their lands and to move to cities where they would compete for poorly paid work with more than 1000 thousands of migrants atracted to the region hoping to find job in the electric power plant. The migrants that don't find job would call upon other ways of sustenance aggravating the illegal fishery and hunting, illegal logging and livestock that is the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon.
While part of the river would dry Belo Monte would make other stretch to uprise flooding big urban areas forcing the displacement of 20 thousand to 40 thousand people that have no information where to go. The dammed water would make seasides to disappear and the sewer would be dumped in the reservoir.
Belo monte isn't a viable economical project: due to big seasonal changes of the river that follow the cycle of flood and the ebb the hydroelectric power plant only would produce about 39% of its capacity, which means that less than 4200 MGW, moreover the costs of the project can rise due the lack of geological data of the excavation of the channels. After all, the specialists calculate that the project would bring the loss of 3 to 8 billion dollars.
By principle Belo Monte would never ever exist if the government wouldn't use  the pension funds of the public workers to finance the project, the national bank would make the biggest loan of the Brazilian history far beyond the 14 billion reals.
Without the influence of the State nobody would be investing in Belo Monte right now!
Indian people, economists, scientists and ambientalists have denounced the threat of belo Monte and its environmental and social impacts as well its energy and economic inneficiency requiring the cancelation of the project indicating at the same time other ways much more sustainable that preserve the Amazon  forest and also allow the development of Brazil.
Investing in energy efficiency Brazil could reduce the electric energy demand in 40% until 2020 which is equivalent to 14 hydroelectric power plants like Belo Monte. Investing in trully renewable energies like wind power and solar power the brazilian government would create 8 million new jobs, much more than those created by the construction of the barrage.
The wind and the sun can respond for more than 20% of the electricity of the country until 2010, much more than the 1,3% of nowadays.
The wonderful forests and the Xingu river shelter dozens of species that cannot be find in other place of the Amazon forest. Without the water of the seasonal floods of the river the biodiversity of Volta Grande of Xingu would be seriously threatened.
About 10 species of endemic fishes of the region can be extincted.
The migratory fishes of the river are esential for the diet of the populations, with the barrage the fishes wouldn't be capable to up the river and would be unable to reproduce themselves.
The deforestation associated with the barrage would drastically change the habitat endangered species.
Deflecting the river would create pools of stagnant waterin Volta Grande allowing the uncontrolled reproduction of a dangerous specie of mosquitos transmiting infectious diseases such as malaria.
The brazilian state of Pará already faces a serious malaria epidemic and the pools of stagnant water would increase the possibility of outbreaks of the disease.
The energy generated by belo monte would not be clean: in the end of the reservoirs of the hydroelectric power plant the decomposition of the flooded forest would free large amounts of methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) in the turbines with the water.
Most part of the produced electricity in belo Monte would supply the major part of the mining industries highly pollutants.
Lots barrages in Amazon suplly the extraction and smelting of iron, copper, gold and bauxite (raw material for aluminum production), this sector creates so little jobs and pollutes so much!
Constructed in 1984, the hydroelectric power plant of Tucuruí, also in the state of Pará, currently provides about 40% consumed for the biggest mine of iron in the world: the Complex of Carajás.
The barrage of Tucuruí flooded 200 thousand hectares of forests, deslocated thousands of indian people and has stimulating deforestation for the last 25 years.
With Belo Monte on sight it's clear that the mining investments would exponentially increase, increasing at the same time the impacts over the environment and local populations.
Belo Monte is not just another barrage it endangers the future of all the Amazon forest because it expands the hydroelectric border for a region of global interest.
To enable the production of energy promised by the power plant the brazilian government should allow the constructions of other barrages up river potentiating the social and environmental impacts.
Even more serious, specialists believe that if Belo Monte is built the government would be able to dam all the Amazon rivers: the rivers Araguaia and Tucantis, the rivers Tapajóis and Teles Pires and the rivers Trombetas, Mapuera and Jatarú.
In the river Madeira the construction of two barrages is already underway, in fact, 60 of the great hydroelectric power plants are planned to be built in the Amazon in the next 20 years and moreover the brazilian government plans to finance dams  in other Amazon rivers of other countries as Peru, Bolivia and Equador striking also the population of these countries.
Beggining with Belo Monte the Amazon rivers would become an endless serie of dead reservoirs with life being drained through giant walls of concrete and steel...one of the most important ecosytems of the world (I would dare to say the more important one) would become an industrial energy reserve.
For years, many advocates of the river have dedicated their lives to preserve the Xingu river basin: in 1999 an international mobilization led the indians Caiapó and their Xingu people caught the attention of the world forcing the government to cancel the project but in 2002, the government announced a new plan to dam the river, in the following rivers ambientalists, social movements and the federal prosecutors questioned this project by filing numerous lawsuits. In 2008 thousands of indians, riparians and dwellers of Altamira organized a new reunion to drew attention for the importance of prserving the river once again.
In 2010 despite the affirmation of the technicians that the project is environmentally impracticable the IBAMA  granted the environmental license of the hydroelectric power plant. Now the brazilian government announce that will resort to manuever to anticipate the license of instalation of the project despite of all the numerous illegalities and several lawsuits against Belo Monte.

So as you see Belo monte is a real ecological catastrophe, we must do whatever we can do to stop it!
If the brazilian government still wanting to go on with this evil decision we can't we can't stood still watching the world being destroyed by corrupt politicians, we got to stop this even invading peacefully the Amazon forest and stop the deforestation with our own bodies and/or doing a worldwide strike for protection of rainforests.
This is the kind of news TV and newspapers should care more to inform us.
I wrote a post explaining why rainforests are so important, read clicking here: rain-forests

We can't accept any longer the stupid decisions from worldwide corrupt governments ! Let's do it on her own! It's the future of life on Earth we're discussing, not the amount of money capitalists want to do with this precious natural resource called water.


"Only when the last tree has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned, only when the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten"

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